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Old 12-28-2011, 10:03 PM   #1
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6 month reef tank...need some help

Hello all....just joined because I need some help. I've got a 6 month old acrylic, 40 gallon reef tank. I've had some good results (luck?) but of late have had some issues...I'm wondering if it's a "growing" phase or if I'm making rookie mistakes. Lost my clownfish today....he was fine yesterday...now my urchin is eating him. In short I've got "natural" sand, about 40lbs of live rock, a hermit crab, 4 snails (2 under the sand 2 eating algae on the acrylic), a sea cucumber, 2 starfish, and a striped damsel that's been hanging since day 28. 2 weeks ago I lost a crab and 2 "fire" shrimp....did a water change (10-20%) - my salt went from 25 to 22 ppm and whammo...So I think I figured that one out....Here's the odd thing...got 2 anenomies a month ago and they are thriving...growing, glowing, bright etc....So I'm just looking to see what I should do before replacing my shrimp and clown fish. Checked salt, nitrates, phosphates etc just now...all is well....but I have noticed my algae is really starting to grow ....Lights are on 8-10 hours a day....Any advice? Thanks much in advance....
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:09 PM   #2
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When you say natural sand what exactly do you mean? Is it from a man made beach? How and where did you obtain it? What type of algae are you seeing. Red matts, green hair. brown? I am not an expert but these things came to mind as maybe pointers towards diagnosis of your problems.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:18 PM   #3
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thanks...good point...bought the sand in bags at the store...came wet and ready to install...it's real "sand" but "prepared" for use in a saltwater aquarium. As for the algae...mostly green, some brown, a few clusters of hair, and a little red beneath the sand in 2 of the corners.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by KRIEGER View Post
thanks...good point...bought the sand in bags at the store...came wet and ready to install...it's real "sand" but "prepared" for use in a saltwater aquarium. As for the algae...mostly green, some brown, a few clusters of hair, and a little red beneath the sand in 2 of the corners.
Well the brown algae is probably diatoms from my understanding and will go away when its food source is depleted, mainly silicates. Sounds like overall you have a smorgesborg of algae. Do you use tap water or RO. If you are using tap water you are gonna fight the algae forever. I know this as I have that problem in my fowlr tank. I am no just switching to RO water since I am upgrading to a 72 gal mixed reef. My tap water tests at 117 PPM of disolved particulate. The reading on my RO unit is usually 000 or 001 PPM. These particulates may be feeding the algae if you are using tap.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:21 PM   #5
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I use bottled spring water and get my saltwater from the fish store....its oceanic sea water...so it has a higher salt content...I have to mix the spring water in to bring it to my "normal" level. What is "RO" water....? My fish store guy says I should try to control the algae naturally, only clean it off the sides once a week etc. I'm getting ready to do another water change and scrape it all off and by a vacuum for the sand...Should I wait it out or be more aggressive - in your opinion....?
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:31 AM   #6
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What do you mean oceanic sea water? Real ocean water? Or Instant Ocean salt & water. If you're using actual water from the ocean, odds are that's what's feeding the algae. You have to head out a mile from land to get water that is suitable for aquarium use if you go that route.

Either way it seems something is feeding your algae. Hair algae doesn't appear unless it's getting fed with something. Are you over feeding perhaps?

What are you water parameters?
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